Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Tiuli Faatoia, as seen in court June 7, was sentenced
yesterday to five years' probation with one year in
jail for the death of Daniel Agcaoili last May.

Fatal hit-and-run
nets Kalihi man 1
year in prison

By Debra Barayuga

The driver convicted of killing a 33-year-old Kalihi man in a hit-and-run crash received a "slap on the wrist" with a one-year prison term, the victim's family said.

Circuit Judge Michael Town sentenced Tiuli Faatoia, 39, yesterday under a plea agreement to five years' probation, with one year in jail for causing the death of Daniel Agcaoili.

Faatoia had pleaded no contest earlier for failing to stop and render aid after rear-ending Agcaoili as he was driving a moped on Kamehameha IV Road during the early morning hours of May 24. Agcaoili died of his injuries four days later.

Faatoia addressed the Agcaoili family yesterday, calling their son's death an accident. He said he turned himself in after seeing Agcaoili's mother on TV after the crash, pleading for her son's killer to turn himself in and that he would be forgiven.

Deputy Public Defender Jerry Villanueva said Faatoia panicked and fled the scene because he was not supposed to be driving after being convicted for drunken driving in 1999. His conscience led him to confess to his wife and family members, and two days later, he turned himself in to police, Villanueva said.

Autopsy results showed Agcaoili was legally drunk and had barbiturates and methamphetamine in his system. And based on a witness' statements, Faatoia drove into Agcaoili's path after Agcaoili failed to use his turn signal, Villanueva said.

Lawrence Agcaoili, the victim's older brother, said it was a surprise to them to learn his brother was intoxicated at the time of the crash. However, his brother would have been alive today had the court given Faatoia a stiffer sentence for his DUI conviction in 1999, he said.

Faatoia was not charged with driving under the influence in Agcaoili's death. He had been convicted twice previously of drunken driving, the latest in 1999 -- for which his license was suspended for five years. He also had been convicted on two other occasions of driving without a license and without no-fault insurance.

Town said he shared the concerns of the Agcaoili family but was bound by the plea agreement. If for any reason Faatoia violates any of the conditions of his probation, including driving, Faatoia will be sent to prison for 10 years, the maximum penalty for failure to render aid, Town said.

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